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Married: Elizabeth, daughter of Edward I and widow of John, Count of Holland,
Died: slain at Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, 16th March 1322
Buried at Friars Preachers Church, York.
|Humphrey de Bohun was made a Lord Ordainer in 1320, taken prisoner at Bannockburn, but exchanged for the Bruce's wife. Robert Comyn (Cumming) also fought (with Edward II) in this battle to regain the Scottish crown from the Bruce but was slain.|
|Humphrey de Bohun and Elizabeth Plantagenet had issue:
(Bo20-1) John de Bohun, b 23 Nov 1306, Pleshey Castle, Essex, England, m. 1st Alice Fitzalan (Fi) of Arundel about 11325, 2nd Margaret Basset, d 20 Jan 1335. (Bo20-1) John de Bohun, successor to his father, as Earl of Hereford, Earl of Essex, and Lord High Constable. He was elected as a Knight of the Bath in the 20th year of Edward II., having, by special command of Price Edward, the robes for that solemnity out of the royal wardrobe, as for an earl. He served in the Scottish wars, being in an infirm state of health, was allowed in the 4th year of Edward III. to depute his brother Edward to execute the duties of constable. He married (1) Alice Fitz Alan, daughter of Edmund Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, and (2) Margaret Basset, daughter of Ralph Basset, Lord Basset, of Drayton, but had no issue. He died in 1335, when all his honors and estates devolved upon his next brother, Humphrey de Bohun IX.
(Bo20-2) Humphrey de Bohun IX., successor to his brother as Earl of Hereford, Earl of Essex, and Lord High Constable, and Knight of the Garter. He was one of the great lords that assisted, in the 15th year of Edward III., at the celebrated feast and justs which the king then held at London in honor of the Countess of Salisbury, and, in the 20th year of the same monarch, attended the king to the relief of Aguilon, then besieged by the French. He was never married, and dying in 1361, his honors and estates reverted to his nephew, Humphrey.
(Bo20-3) Edward de Bohun, successive primogeniturely to the honors.
(Bo20 = Bo20-4) William de Bohun. See below. Earl of Northampton, was born about 1312. He was a personage of great eminence in the turbulent times in which he lived, and one of the gallant heroes of Cressy. In the parliament held at London, in the 11th year of Edward III., upon the advancement of the Black Prince to the dukedom of Cornwall, he was elected Earl of Northampton, on March 17, 1337, and from that period he appears the constant companion in arms of the martial Edward, and his illustrious son. At Cressy he was in the second battalia of the English army, and he was frequently engaged in the subsequent wars of France and Scotland. He was entrusted at different periods with the most important offices, such as ambassador to treat of peace with hostile powers, commissioner to levy troops, etc., and he was finally elected as a Knight of the Garter. He married Elizabeth Badlesmere, daughter of Bartholomew de Badlesmere and his wife Margaret Clare. Elizabeth was one of the co-heirs of her brother Giles de Badlesmere, and widow of Edmund de Mortimer. They had the following children:
(Bo20-6-1) Humphrey de Bohun X., succeeded his uncle, Humphrey de Bohun IX, as 2nd Earl of Northampton, when only a minor, under the guardianship of Richard, Earl of Arundel. He did not, however, long enjoy this great accumulation of wealth and honor, for he died in 1372, in the thirty-second year of his age, leaving by his wife Joane Fitz Alan, daughter of his late guardian, the Earl of Arundel, two daughters, his co-heirs, as follows:
(Bo20-7) Agnes (Margaret) de Bohun, Baroness Ferrers of Chartley.
(Bo20-8) Edmund de Bohun
(Bo20-9) Hugh de Bohun
(Bo20-10) Mary de Bohun
(Bo20-11) Isabella de Bohun
The de Bohun Coat of Arms: Azure, a bend argent between two cotises and six lions rampant or.
|Bannockburn Battle Sequence of Events
Siege of Stirling and the pact with Mowbray
In the year 1314, after 18 years of war, Scotland north of the Forth was free. Stirling, one of the few castles still held by the English lay under Scottish siege. Edward Bruce, the King's brother, lacking in siege equipment, had remained there for many months in the hope of starving the English out. Sometime in the spring though, Edward, in the chivalry of the time, made a pact with the castle's governor, one Sir Philip Mowbray. It was agreed that if an English relieving force had not arrived by midsummer's eve, the castle would be surrendered to the Scots. Robert, on hearing of this was furious with his brother. So far he had relied entirely on guerrilla tactics to oust the English, and undoubtedly Edward II would send a force north, which would mean a pitched battle if Stirling was to be saved.
Edward II, on hearing this news was only too happy to oblige, deciding he could finish his father's work in one huge thrust. He amassed an army of some 40,000 men with the intention of crushing the rebellious Scots once and for all, so finally putting and end to the dispute.
His army was an enormous one, even by medieval standards. It included some 2,500 heavy cavalry, 2000 Welsh bowmen and 500 light cavalry, with the rest consisting of highly trained infantry. Edward felt openly confident that the might of his powerful army would easily overwhelm the Scots, who numbered only some 13,000. Following this army, Edward had a huge train of equipment and supplies, which included weaponry, siege engines, foods, wines, and the riches of the Knights and Barons. To watchers, the sight of a column of such splendour marching past must have been magnificent.
Edward had his army muster at Berwick-upon-Tweed. From there, some two weeks before the deadline, they crossed the border at Coldstream, and marched north to Stirling.
Randolph's encounter with Beaumont and Clifford
As Robert Bruce had anticipated, they had come by the old roman road, so he had set his positions accordingly, his divisions lining the road under the cover of the forest. For him to win he would need to fight the battle on his terms, which meant confining the bulk of the English army to a gap to small for them to fight at full force. He hoped then that his schiltroms* could repel the thrust of the English cavalry, keeping his lines unbroken.
For the battle site, Robert had chosen the narrow gap between the woods surrounding the Bannockburn village and those on Gillies Hill, near where the road fords the Bannock Burn. Within the woods he blocked all paths with branches and dug pits which he covered with sticks, anti-cavalry traps intended to counter an outflanking movement. Then with his men in position, he waited.
* A schiltrom was basically a large circle of men who carried huge 15 ft pikes. They were trained to march consistently in this formation with pikes outwards, forming an impenetrable wall of spears.
On the arrival of the English, Stirling's governor, Sir Philip Mowbray rode out to meet Edward. He pleaded that a force should be dispatched to relieve the castles garrison, to which Edward agreed, giving him 500 cavalry.
Mowbray knew the Scots positions would make using the road impossible, so he led the force, under Sir Clifford and Sir Beaumont along a narrow bridle path leading from the village to the castle. Within the gorge, which the path followed, the English Knights were well hidden from the Scottish positions. Luckily, just before they had managed to pass, Robert spotted them and immediately dispatched Randolph to intercept.
Randolph quickly gathered his men and charged down towards the English, blocking their path. He knew that there would be no option but to fight, as the English were 500 horse, and would be confident of breaking the Scots lines. So, as the English cavalry gathered for the charge, within the Scots schiltrom spears were grounded and muscles strained in preparation for their impact.
The first wave of cavalry hit the Scots with tremendous force. Their lines held sure though and many English Knights crashed to their deaths on the wall of spikes. The cavalry retreated, gathered and charged again, but still they could not break through. This continued for some time, each charge weakening as more knights fell, their own dead blocking their path.
Meanwhile James Douglas, concerned for Randolph's men persuaded Robert to let him take a small division of reinforcements down to the battle. On arrival though he was greeted by a surprise; it was not the Scots who were failing, but the English, who had given up charging and had now resorted to throwing their hand weapons at the Scots, though to little effect. So Douglas, seeing that it was Randolph's fight, and almost won, held his men and watched as his friend finished the English himself.
The English cavalry began again to retreat, and gathered a small distance from the Scots schiltrom. Suddenly the Scots, confident now of victory, did something before unheard of in medieval warfare, they charged the cavalry. For the English knights this was the last straw. Tired and disorientated, they now found themselves swarmed by the Scottish infantry and in a blind panic began to scatter. Of the 500 English Knights who set out to Stirling, only around 400 struggled back to the camp. As for Scots loses, Randolph reported only 6.
This victory, though small in the fact that they were still outnumbered 3 to 1, elated the Scots. Although they knew the worst maybe still to come, their victory would not only demoralise the English, but prove undoubtedly that a well disciplined schiltrom was capable of repelling heavy cavalry.
James and Randolph returned, taking up their positions again within
the Scots lines. On their arrival however, they were to be greeted with
the news that Randolph's men were not the only ones to have seen some action.
There had also been some skirmishing on the battle front, where The Bruce's
division were in position. These skirmishes had been sparked by an incident
which was undoubtedly the tensest moment of the entire campaign for The
Bruce's men, but with which any Scot with a knowledge of the King remembers
Encounter of Bruce and De Bohun
Moving from the English lines De Bohun, fully armoured and riding a heavy cavalry horse urged his beast to a gallop, and lowering his lance he aimed straight for the King. Robert, armed only with a battle axe and on a smaller horse, held his ground, however, until the last second. Just before De Bohun hit him, Robert quickly moved his horse aside and in one blow split open both the young knight's with his battle axe.
The Scots gave a sigh of relief, many shouting about how senseless Robert had been in endangering not only his own life but the future of their cause. The King however replied only with a complaint to the fact that he had broken the shaft of his favourite axe, which rather annoyed him.
This incident obviously could have had horrific consequences if The Bruce had been killed. It would have left the Scots both leaderless and Kingless on the eve of battle, probably putting to an end their long struggle. Luckily Robert remained entirely unscathed to the great relief of his men.
That night, after further small skirmishes along the front line, the English retired and made camp upon the carse, some distance from the Scots lines. For Robert, it was a time to make some very important decisions. From past experience, he knew that because of the small size of his army, to beat the English he needed to fight them at his chosen location, preferably a place where they were confined to a small front. Robert had originally intended this to be between the forest of Gillies Hill and the Bannock Burn gorge. Now that Edward's army had camped upon the carse, the battle would inevitably have to take place on the flat field that stretched down from the road towards it. This meant that the battle front was to be much larger than Robert would have liked. The only benefit to this site was the small gorge that lay between the carse and the field. Although it was not particularly deep, it's sides were steep and it would be a slow process for the large English army to cross safely. Robert knew that if he could attack the English as they were still crossing, he might be able to drive them back upon their own men still trying to cross the gorge. This would cause confusion and disorganisation among them, exactly what he needed.
Later that evening a young Scottish Knight, deserting the English side,
rode into Robert's camp and asked to speak to the King, telling him he
wanted to change his allegiance. The King, always happy for new recruits,
especially from his enemy, accepted and let the man pay homage. With him
the knight also brought news, apparently the English had been very demoralised
by the events of the day and many were unhappy with young King Edward's
command. For Robert, this was the final factor in his decision. He spent
the evening discussing the matter with each division in turn, and asked
their opinions. For him, unlike many commanders of the time, the thoughts
of his men were as important as his own. And to the main question, would
they follow him and fight, he was given a resounding "yes".
Main Battle - 24th June 1314
At first light the Scots were already in position. Looking down towards
the carse they could see the English hurriedly preparing for battle, with
the first of their cavalry making it's way across the gorge. Robert the
Bruce gave one final address to his troops before they were given their
church blessing. Edward II, watching the Scots kneeling in prayer, laughed
aloud believing they begged for his mercy. A wiser man then told him; yes,
they did beg , but not to him.
The impact as the English horse hit the schiltroms was tremendous, but the Scots held. Many of the English knights, charging unorganised, were killed outright on the Scottish pikes, others fell or were dragged from their horses to be crushed by their own men or killed by the Scots.
The lack of English organisation was now becoming horribly apparent to them. Most of their archers were now across the gorge and in a panic someone had given the order to fire. Unfortunately for them, not only were they hitting the Scots but much of their own retreating cavalry. The archers were bad news for the Scots, who no longer had the cover of the trees, but Robert had planned for this. As soon as he gave the signal, Keith the Marischal of Scotland, commanding some 500 mounted infantry charged out of the woods and routed the archers from the field.
With the cavalry retreating, and the archers scattered, there was huge confusion among the English ranks. The Scots, seeing this lifted their pikes and slowly advanced, in perfect formation, driving their struggling enemy back towards the gorge. What remained of the English cavalry continued to retreat and charge, each time being beaten back by the wall of Scottish spikes. With the Scots forcing those who had reached the field further and further back towards the gorge, and at the same time the main bulk of the English infantry still trying to cross, those who were retreating were blocking those advancing. The English army's fate was sealed.
The schiltroms pressed on, pushing more and more men into the horrific crush the gorge had become. Horses and men tumbled down the sides tripping over each other until, as one witness described it: "bodies lay so thick a man could cross the burn dry-shod".
Soon almost all of the English, most not even given a chance to fight, were scattering. Many drowned as they tried to cross the Forth, others were killed or crushed by their own companions in the mad race to escape. Those still left fighting on the battlefield were few and Robert, seeing the victory was theirs gave the order to break up and give chase.
Sir James Douglas, spotting the escape of Edward was given permission by Robert to follow. The young King quickly reached the gates of Stirling but no matter how much he pleaded, the governor Philip Mowbray refused to let him in. Mowbray argued that he must hold his part of the pact as the Scots had been true to theirs. With Douglas on his tail, Edward had little time to argue so gave up and set off south. After many days of hard riding, made worse by Douglas happily picking off any stragglers of the Kings party, he eventually made it to Dunbar Castle. From there a ship took the English king, thoroughly beaten and humiliated, back south to England.
For the Scots, the battle was undeniably one of the greatest in history.
Their King, who for 18 years had fought for a cause once thought impossible,
had led them to victory. Edward may have had the military might of all
England behind him, but in the end it was no match for an army of freedom
fighters distinctly lacking in blue blood.
There has long been confusion as to the exact location of the battle (see battle map above). This is probably due to the fact that much of the site is now covered with the present village of Bannockburn, where one would find it harder to envisage a medieval battle. For this reason historians have preferred to put the site on the flat land to the north, bordering the river Forth. In the present day this idea would seem acceptable as the site is well drained agricultural land, perfect conditions for battle. One must remember though, that in the 14th Century it would have been the marshy wetland of the river Forth flood plain, across which not even an incompetent fool like Edward II would choose to do battle. For this reason, and through the interpretation of records it is generally agreed that the battle site lay to the north of the Bannockburn gorge on relatively flat land between the carse (marshland) and Gillies hill.
Battle of Boroughbridge
The battle of Boroughbridge saw the total defeat of rebel forces under the Earl of Lancaster. Thomas felt he had been snubbed by Edward, and denied his true place as the king's main advisor, due to him as the king's cousin, and had found allies in the welsh marches, alienated by the actions of the king's favourites. By the time of Boroughbridge, Edward had defeated the marchers, leaving the northern rebels isolated. In the period before Boroughbridge, they had been moving north, away from the king. Thomas of Lancaster was executed after the battle, and a popular cult soon grew around him. It was a small but dramatic battle, or at least appears so thanks to the graphic detail provided in the contemporary accounts. It was achieved by a royal commander who took a strong position, holding a major river crossing, giving the rebels no alternative but to fight for control. He also used a very effective combination of tactics against the heavily armoured rebel force: a defensive wall of spears copied from the Scots and an offensive arrowstorm provided by his archers. In this, Harcla's victory foreshadowed the devastating success achieved some years later against the French at Crecy.
Battle of Boroughbridge
The Battle of Boroughbridge was a small but important battle in the conflicts between Edward II of England and his rebellious barons. The battle took place near at important bridge across the River Ure called Boroughbridge, northwest of York.
Early in 1322, King Edward took forces north in England to subdue his cousin Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. Thomas was pushed further north, where he may have been hoping to join up with forces from Scotland. However on March 16, he found his way across the river Ure barred by forces of Sir Andrew Harclay. Sir Andrew used the infantry tactics which were later to prove so effective against the French at Crecy, and the rebels were defeated.
Of the rebel leaders, Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford,
was killed, and the rest captured. The prisoners were later convicted of
treason and executed.
The action was fought for control of a narrow bridge and a nearby ford
by which the Great North Road crossed the River Ure. Today the battlefield
has been largely engulfed by the town, but in 1322 Boroughbridge had probably
not yet extended as far north as the bridge. The land on either side of
the river will have been floodplain meadow. But, while the bridge was probably
very close to its present site, it is uncertain exactly where the ford
lay, making it difficult to appreciate exactly how all the forces were
deployed and where they fought.
The site is easily explored on foot from a car park within the town.
Despite urban expansion, the battlefield can still be easily appreciated
on the ground, because it was a fight across the river and there is still
today considerably more open ground than might at first appear.
After staying briefly at the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Edward I travelled north to Carlisle. His son, Edward (II) of Caernarvon remained at the Abbey for a week longer, living as a monk, before following his father. The king ensured his standard had been blessed by every holy relic that the Abbey possessed.
July - Caerlaverock Castle siege
The castle fell within 5 days and the Scots gave Edward I little resistance. Edward (II) of Caernarvon took control of the rearguard of the English army and apart from a small skirmish, saw no action.
Aug - The Pope Intervenes
The Pope sent a letter to Edward demanding that he should withdraw from Scotland. Edward ignored the letter, but because the campaign was not a success, the English soon left for England anyway.
Oct 30 - Truce with the Scots
Edward arranged a truce and returned to England.
1301 Feb - Edward (II) invested as Prince of Wales
May 20 - Treaty finally signed
Summer - Edward advances into Scotland
Treaty of Paris
Spring - John Comyn is appointed regent
1304 Canterbury Screen of choir and chapter house building
Spring - Edward besieges Stirling Castle
Jul - Stirling Castle surrenders
1305 William Wallace captured
1306 Philippe confiscates Italian bankers' goods
Feb 25 - Edward's Coronation
Jun - Gaveston banished
1309 Bruce recognised as King
1310 Wells Cathedral Lady Chapel
Sep - Edward campaigns in Scotland
1311 Bruce attacks the north
Qtr 1 - The rise of Thomas Earl of Lancaster
Sep 27 - Ordinances Proclaimed
Nov - Future Edward III is born
1313 The Scots regain ground
Sep - Edward loses power to Lancaster
1315 Lancaster in power
A year of flood, famine and disease
Aug 9 - Treaty of Leake
1320 Apr - Declaration of Arbroath
1321 Qtr 1 - Despenser and the Marcher Lords